Mad Journal.  March 15, 2013. “For Brutus, only, overcame himself.  And no man else hath honour by his death.”  Did you say you had 18 rejections, ape?  That’s tragic.  Tell you what.  Why don’t you get back to us when it’s 180?  Maybe we can look into it.  The whole world’s in a terrible state of crisis, ape.  If it’s 18 it’s 18.  If it was a youth and not simply a record of your failure rate it wouldn’t even be able to vote yet!  So overcome, my simian friend.  Overcome!  You know what?  Maybe “Wilderness Park” ain’t so hot.  Maybe it’s not all you’re cracking it up to be.  Maybe it’s a disorganized, criminal mess and you don’t have the stones, like a real cop, to do anything about it.  Maybe you’re out there in that park of yours, yourself, lost.

March 16, 2013.  That’s right.  Mad Journal.  Upper deck.  Home office.  Five PM.  Get out of here.  A bit of breeze is rattling the glass in the railing outside there as I enter these immortal words.

I remember hearing that sound the first time I came here when we were looking at the place, that kind of lonely, lost sound, perfect for melancholics, that little rattle rattle rattle, like a lost ghost.  Because except for the distant sound of traffic on the bridge going downtown, this is a quiet place, which is why you can hear that.  And pretty private too.  And that must have been why we moved in.

The suite was an estate sale and the owner had ended his own life right here in this upstairs bedroom, apparently.  We never, uh, made too many enquiries, but that was the story.  Downstairs that afternoon I remember there wasn’t much furniture in the suite.  Most of it had already been moved out.  There were two large, framed paintings on the small living room’s walls.  One was a print of “Scotland Forever” and I can’t remember what the other one was. I think it was a naval theme, HMS Victory or some such.  I remember feeling proud of myself that I knew that print was a print of “Scotland Forever” and also that the original had been painted many years after the scene it depicts, the charge of the “Scots Greys” at the battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815), and that a woman had painted it, which has always struck me and probably a great lot of other people down the long years, as remarkable, considering the era, and that the original was much larger than this print.  That’s right.  The sun never sets.

The dead guy had been in his forties or so and lived alone.  You see what happens when you start to think about things, when something triggers a memory?  Do we get that we get it, mein apen?  We are sentient, living beings and we remember. Sometimes memory is all we have, which isn’t much when you’re stuck here, day after day after year trying to understand and I mean understand.  And what you understand is that, ultimately, there is no understanding.  There just is, and isn’t.  And it can get painful beating yourself up over it.  So stop that.Scotland_Forever!

Author: Steven Brown


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